Born Suffolk, 1945, Maggi Hambling is a household name in British art. She studied with Lett Haines and Cederic Morris and studied at Ipswich School of Art, Camberwell School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. She was the First Artist in Residence at the National Gallery in 1980-81, and among other of her works, her portraits of George Melly and Max Wall hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Public collections holding her work include: British Museum, Tate Collection, National Gallery, London, and Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. The monograph MAGGI HAMBLING THE WORKS<.em> and conversations with Andrew Lambirth was published in 2006 (Unicorn Press). In 2010, Maggi Hambling was awarded a CBE. Her public sculpture Scallop, a monument to the composer Benjamin Britten, stands on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk, and her main muse of recent years has been the North Sea, to great critical acclaim.
A close friend of George Melly, in 2009 George Always her memorial exhibition of paintings of the legendary jazz singer was shown at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and at National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2010, her solo show Maggi Hambling: The Wave was shown at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and her public sculpture The Brixton Heron was installed and unveiled above The Prince & Dex building, London SW9 in the centre of Brixton.